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Leak suggests the PS5 will be much faster than the new Xbox Series X

Published Jan 24th, 2020 10:24AM EST
PS5 Specs vs. Xbox Series X

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Both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X will be incredibly powerful machines — much more powerful than anything we’ve ever seen from a home console. AMD is in charge of providing similar Zen 2 processors and Radeon Navi graphics cards for both consoles, and both should feature fast solid-state drives as well. But a new leak suggests that the PS5 might have a huge advantage over the new Xbox when it comes to storage.

A series of leaks said the PS5 will be sandwiched between the Xbox One X and One S successors when it comes to price. A different report said the more expensive Xbox would deliver better graphics than the new PlayStation, which, in turn, would have better graphics than Xbox Lockhart (the cheaper model). That all makes sense, although none of it is confirmed, as both Sony and Microsoft are keeping the specs of their consoles secret.

This brings us to the newest leak, which claims the 2020 Xbox might feature inferior storage compared to the PS5. While all three consoles are expected to pack SSDs, not all SSDs are made equally. Sony has teased the performance of the PS5’s storage, saying that loading times will disappear due to the unprecedented speed of its custom SSD. But it never told us what we should expect from the SSD in terms of raw power.

A former Phison employee posted details of the SSD controller used on the Xbox Scarlett prototype on LinkedIn: The chip supports read and write speeds equivalent to a regular PCIe 3.0 NVMe drive.

The Phison engineer refers to the new Xbox as Xbox Scarlett, which makes it hard to tell whether the controller will be used in both of the rumored Xbox Series X consoles. If that is the case, then both devices would feature slower storage than the new PlayStation, even though all of them should feature PCIe 4.0 SSDs.

As PCGamesN explains, the highlighted controller might be paired with a PCIe 4.0 SSD, but it can’t sustain higher speeds than PCIe 3.0. On the other hand, this Phison PS5019-E19T budget SSD controller might be a compromise that Microsoft will make to come up with a more reasonable price for the cheaper Xbox Series X.

Regardless of what controllers are used, the new Xbox models should still be much faster than previous-gen consoles that featured spinning HDDs. But the PS5’s SSD speed might be nearly double that of the Xbox, assuming Sony uses a complete PCIe 4.0 storage solution. The E19T controller above supports sequential read/write speeds of 3,700MB/s and 3,000MB/s, respectively. The PS5 might rock a Samsung PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive, according to a recent rumor. That SSD could be similar to the 980 Pro SSD that was unveiled at CES earlier this month, though this is just speculation. The 980 Pro drive is capable of delivering speeds of up to 6,500MB/s and 5,000MB/s.

Sony is expected to host a PlayStation Meeting next month where it will finally unveil the PS5.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.